How can electric vehicles push Indonesia towards zero carbon?

When most people imagine what contributes to climate change, electric vehicles are one of the first things that comes to mind.

electric vehicle

Today I will share my thought about the importance of living below zero carbon for future generations. If we want to address climate change, we need to find new ways to do things that don’t release greenhouse gases, including how we move. When most people imagine what contributes to climate change, electric vehicles are one of the first things that come to mind.

The most significant contributor to emissions

In Indonesia, transportation is one of the most significant contributors to emissions. But you may be surprised that it only contributes 1.48% of global emissions. Perhaps that figure looks slight, considering China is still the world’s largest producer of emissions at 29.18%. However, the figure is quite significant if we see that Indonesia is the number 10 contributor globally and 30 percent of it comes from transportation. It is time for Indonesia to switch to an environmentally friendly vehicle, and we are on our way there.

My goal in writing this article isn’t to make people less mobile or traveling but to find ways to mitigate the impact of inefficient driving. As we saw the last few months, we were forced to stay home for pandemic causes and let the world “breathe” for a moment.

We need alternative energy

Before discussing electricity transportation, transportation distribution in Indonesia is still not widely affordable. For example, moving from one place to another in remote areas is still a live bet because the road it travels is far from expected. To do that, we must ensure that transportation remains affordable. Products like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are standard because they can take you far at a low cost per liter. So how can we handle it? I can say the simple answer is using electricity in transportation.

There is potential for electric vehicles

An electric vehicle uses one or more motors or traction motors for its drive. Electric cars can be powered through a collector’s system with electricity from sources outside the vehicle or can be equipped with batteries, solar panels, fuel cells, or electric generators to convert fuel into electricity. Electric vehicles include land and rail, surface and underwater vessels, aircraft, and spacecraft.

Looking at the primary source of batteries, lately, the price of batteries has experienced a significant decrease and is easy to reach. Indonesia has vast reserves of nickel and cobalt raw materials to be developed into the lithium battery industry as the main component of electric vehicles. Indonesia is also ready to be a manufacturer, although it still has to work with other countries that already have advanced technology. 

What is interesting is that BloombergNEF estimates that the total cost of battery pack production in Indonesia could be 8% lower than in China. Low production costs are expected to make electric vehicles in Indonesia more realistic.

The challenge to zero carbon

I think battery-powered electric vehicles, like private cars, buses, or motorcycles, are better suited for short and medium travel. The average electric car can travel 250 to 400 km on a single charge. 

Manufacturer Tesla, for example, has an electric car capable of touching 595 kilometers through the Model S Long Range. The problem is that the battery is heavy, and the heavier the battery, the heavier the load. Electric vehicles may or may not have been practical solutions to things like 18-wheeled vehicles, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Electric vehicles are excellent for short-haul vehicle replacements, but we need different solutions for long-distance vehicles. Maybe you have a different opinion on this.

Future and hope

Switching to electric vehicles is the most effective way to move towards zero emissions from the transport sector for the next year. We can take a few other steps to reduce emissions, such as using fuel more efficiently, moving less, and switching to alternative energy that is environmentally friendly but still needs more innovation. Hopefully, in the future, Indonesia can soon realize zero carbon.

Thanks for reading. Read also other articles in my blog. This writing was inspired by my awareness of cutting-edge technology and environmental sustainability.

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